Ok, here’s a weird issue I’m facing.
My boss (no background in design) has gotten me to interview a graphic/UI design guy the company is hiring. Here’s the gist:
The job position in this case is a senior graphic designer. I would say the job scope is pretty close to an art director. The guy is applying for that.
For me, my current level is somewhere in-between junior and senior designer.
I’m slightly past the junior stage but still some way off before I would even consider myself senior designer level.
Looking at the guy’s portfolio, I can say his experience, quantity and skill set is broader than mine. However, to be honest, I would say the quality of his work is actually below mine (based on his layouts, color aesthetics etc.)
Anyway, below are the questions I intend to ask him:
- How long did you take to complete (insert one of his artwork)?
- In that (insert another of his artwork) you did, was it a solo effort or did someone else help you?
- What’s your process for designing app UIs like? Could you share?
I can’t think of what else to ask. If anyone has some insight, I would greatly appreciate it!
This is my 1st time doing this sort of thing. Of course, for this sort of position, I was hoping to see a candidate much stronger than me, but as the company is urgently in need of someone to fill the place, well…..
Btw, assuming this candidate gets hired, he won’t be working with me but in a subsidiary company on the other side of the world, so no concern for any future politics whatever.
I just hope assuming he gets in, he performs well, or else I would be in a really bad light for approving him.
The topics are good, but most of these questions are too narrow to be good interview questions. If it can be answered in one word, it’s too narrow, it needs to spark a conversation:
Instead of “how long did X take”, try “Talk us through the process for X, from initial brief to completion”. Then you’ll learn how they handle projects, how they develop briefs, how they handle negotiating requests and revisions… All that senior stuff, AND how long it took.
Instead of “was X a solo effort”, try “Talk us through the range of project teams you’ve worked with recently”, then you’ll get variety and you’ll see what roles they tend to take. You might also get clues about their preferred roles.
“What’s your process for X” is a good question, particularly for senior-level, no changes there
One final area that might be worth addressing, which might come up naturally but might not, is how much (if any) direction they expect. It sounds like they’ll be top of the design tree, which is not unheard of but relatively uncommon for a senior designer. Ask if they’ve been top of the tree on a project before, and ask searching questions like: “How do you ensure high standards of quality when you’re they person with final say on design and aesthetic decisions”.
And when judging their portfolio, remember things always look worse when they’re viewed 3, 5, 10 years after its style was in fashion. It’ll happen to your work too. Also keep in mind that you don’t know what client-led restrictions they were working to. Portfolios are a good way to gauge someone’s skills, but they’re never the whole story.